FGN News: October 2016

October is finally here and with it comes National Principals Month! It is the time where principals are given special recognition for the roles they play in making schools great. More than ever before we have begun to see principals start to receive the acknowledgement that they deserve. The Senate has already passed a bipartisan resolution officially recognizing National Principals Month by unanimous consent, and the House of Representatives has introduced a similar resolution. Not only is the federal government doing its part, but a number of states are passing their own resolutions or proclamations as well. For more information on these state resolutions, as well as information on the number of exciting webinars and events that are coming up, please visit the official National Principals Month website.

This Month’s Top Advocacy Issues

Title II Funding in ESSA

Discussions over Title II funding in ESSA have ramped up lately with NASSP, NAESP, AFSA, and others sending a letter to Chairman Roy Blunt and Ranking Member Patty Murray of the Senate Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, as well as Chairman Tom Cole and Ranking Member Rosa DeLauro of the House Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education. This letter details the importance of Title II funding for recruiting and retaining effective school leaders. Also, at the end of September, the Department of Education released new guidance detailing how state and local education agencies should go about allocating their Title II, Part A funds. While the guidance itself is very much appreciated, it is somewhat of a mixed bag for principals. It specifically points out the importance of principal development and the principal pipeline, while also recommending that state education agencies reserve an additional 3 percent of Title II funding for state activities that support principals or other school leaders. However, it also provides a loose definition of “school leaders,” which would allow part of the 3 percent set aside for principals to be spent on principal supervisors as well.

Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants

If we really want to see ESSA improve in areas where No Child Left Behind failed, the federal government will have to provide districts, principals, and teachers the resources necessary to effectively educate students. That is why NASSP and a number of other state, national, and regional organizations recently sent a letter to the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Committee advocating for more robust funding in fiscal year 2017 for Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants (SSAEG). These grants allow districts to choose where to spend the dollars they receive in order to help students develop the skills essential for academic success. It is time the federal government stops expecting teachers and principals do more with less and provides them with the funding necessary to truly see all students succeed. The week of October 24 will be one of action with more information released shortly. To get involved use #MoreTitleIV on social media.

Twitter Talk

@akarhuse LBJ had intended Title I to be a $20 B program funding most K-12 schools in the 1960s – not true today! #CEFGala #edfunding #ESSA
@dnchodak Thanks @usedgov for including information about National Principals Month in the Teacher’s Edition! http://www.principalsmonth.org #ThankAPrincipal
@zackscott33 It’s almost National Principals Month, so don’t forget to join @NASSP and @NAESP as we honor principals everywhere. #ThankAPrincipal
@nassp With @NAESP & @AFSAUnion we’re preparing to celebrate National Principals Month all October long! http://bit.ly/2cCYEsZ #ThankAPrincipal

For more advocacy tweets, join us on social media by following NASSP and the advocacy staff on Twitter:

Collaborations

The Full-Service Community Schools Program provides students, their family members, and community members with academic, social, and health services through a number of local partnerships. This program provides much needed support for students and their families, which ultimately leads to improved educational outcomes for children. The Institute for Educational Leadership, along with the NASSP, recently sent a letter to the chairmen and ranking members of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees urging them to provide the program with $10 million more in fiscal year 2017 than it received in 2016. These additional funds would help increase the number of full-service community schools to meet the high demand for these schools across the nation.

Take Action

Urge Congress to negotiate a budget deal that fully funds ESSA’s professional development program. Send a message to your members of Congress today and encourage them to put students and educators first.

Help spread the word about National Principals Month by use the social media toolkit to encourage your neighbors and friends to celebrate their local principals! Also, reach out to your state legislature and ask them to support a resolution or proclamation officially recognizing National Principals Month. Thank you to the 17 states who have already done their part.

In this Month’s Principal Leadership

Principal Leadership magazine cover

This month’s issue of Principal Leadership features an article by Director of Advocacy Amanda Karhuse on how to get students’ voices heard regarding ESSA implementation. The piece notes how important it is for principals to be active and engaged in order for their students to be as well.

All FGN members are invited to write a guest article for Principal Leadership or blog post for School of Thought—just email Manager of Advocacy Zachary Scott with your idea. You can also subscribe to the blog to receive an email whenever a new post is published.

Comparing Presidential Candidates’ Education Policies

With the presidential election heating up, and not much attention being paid by either candidate to education policies, NPR Education recently came out with a quick education breakdown for both candidates. The pieces cover a wide scope of education topics from Common Core to higher education funding. Hillary Clinton’s policies can be found here, while Donald Trump’s policies can be found here.